Your child has asked you yet again to read the same storybook, put on the same movie, play the same game, or sing the same songs?
After a long day at work, many parents can find this ritual frustrating and irritating. Could there, however, be some value in repetition?
Like all aspects of learning, there are two sides to consider, and it is necessary that repetitive learning be looked at in context to the information being taught and the child.
Repetition is good as:
• It is often seen as the key to learning as it transitions a skill from the conscious to the subconscious.
• It creates long term memory, both implicit (automatic memory like tying your shoes) and explicit (conscientiously recalled events or facts).
• It helps children master new skills, gives them speed, confidence and strengthens the connections in the brain that helps them learn.
• It helps retain and solidify what has been learnt.
• It helps sync information into a person’s subconscious, influencing their behaviour, actions, and reactions.
Repetition can have a dark side if:
• It is drilled in a manner that the content is seen to be highly dull by the learner.
• It dulls creativity and will not allow the child to adapt to different situations.
• Repetition is massed rather than spaced.
• Repetition blindness (a tendency for individuals to “tune out” and no longer focus on the information being taught) occurs.
Something to consider!
If your child struggles to recall all the information required for an exam and finds studying tedious, repetitive, and “boring”, encourage them to space out their studying.
Spaced repetition can be the most powerful technique for improving the brain’s ability to recall.